Issuu on Google+

Valdosta State University

O

mnino

“a community of scholars�

Volume 2

2011-12 Undergraduate Research Journal


O

mnino

Undergraduate Research Journal

Volume 2 2011-12 Valdosta State University 2012


Faculty Advisor Nathan R. Elliot Managing Editor Meagan C. Ellis Editors Paul Brannon Ashley Dailey Brenna Lockaby Bridgette Ivey Designer Chad Stone

Copyright © 2012 by Valdosta State University

OMNINO

Undergraduate Research Journal Volume 2, Number 1 2011–2012

Articles Social Media and the Arab Spring by Alex Lawhorne

3

Subtexts in David’s The Death of Socrates by Brendan J. Mullen

14

Cornplanter and Iroquois Policy: From Revolution to Canadaigua by Robert Rodriguez

22

Book Reviews Rape and Sexual Power in Early America by Sharon Block Reviewed by Paul Brannon

39

The Feminism of Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Sexualities, Histories, Progressivism by Judith A. Allen Reviewed by Ashley Dailey

42

The Oral Character of Southern Literature: Explaining the Distinctiveness of Regional Texts by Clay Morton Reviewed by Meagan C. Ellis

48


Introduction By Dr. Nathan R. Elliott, Faculty Advisor to Omnino Welcome to the 2011–2012 issue of Omnino. This is our second year in existence and we had significantly fewer submissions this year. As a result, our student editorial board faced the difficult task of deciding how to put together an issue. Should we publish fewer articles? Or should we increase our acceptance rate? Ultimately, the students decided to be guided by the reports of faculty readers, and this meant a decreased acceptance rate, and fewer articles published this year. We made these decisions based on our goal to be a quality undergraduate research journal. We want to, in other words, encourage student scholarship that truly makes a contribution to its respective field. This is a difficult task at the undergraduate level, but we genuinely believe in that possibility, and we are proud of the articles that were selected for publication this year. Past readers, and future contributors, should take note of the fact that we have added book reviews this year. Academic book reviews are a regular part of research journals; they further the research mission of journals by helping scholars keep abreast of the scholarship published in their field. This year we are publishing three book reviews submitted by our student editorial board as an experiment. We hope to encourage more students, from a greater variety of fields, to submit book reviews for publication. A scholarly book review, as you will see in these pages, should review a book recently published, make it clear how the book contributes to its respective field, briefly summarize the book, and provide a brief evaluation of the quality of the book. Book reviews generally run five to seven double-spaced pages in length. If you are interested in submitting a book review, you might find it useful to consult book reviews in a research journal in your respective field for further ideas on how to construct a book review. Consult Omnino’s website for further instructions on how to submit a book review. As always, we would like to thank the people who supported the publication of this issue. Pat Miller conceived of Omnino; James LaPlant, Alfred Fuciarelli, and Connie Richards have provided key support during these initial two years. We cannot thank everyone by name, but we would like to thank all of the professors who have taken the time to read student submissions, and we would like to thank all student contributors, whether or not their articles were ultimately accepted. Finally, on a personal note, I would like to thank the students and faculty of Valdosta State University for giving me the chance to work with them on this project. This is the last issue that I will be able to work with Omnino, as I have accepted a position away from VSU. I enjoyed the challenge of helping students to conceive an undergraduate research journal, and have consistently been impressed with the results. Working with Omnino and the Undergraduate Research Council at VSU was easily one of my favorite things about my time in South Georgia, and I will miss it.

Articles


Social Media and the Arab Spring by Alex Lawhorne

T

wo trends that have been dynamically changing our world for several years have suddenly come to a confluence in recent months: the rise of social networking and growing discontent in the Middle East. As new developments in technology have allowed us to communicate with one another more frequently, publicly, and globally, we have seen the rise of a new form of activism. And as the economic downturn has exacerbated underlying tensions in the Arab world, a sudden outburst of revolution has spread throughout the region. It is clear that both of these trends are unprecedented and changing the globe in ways we had not thought possible even ten years ago, but to what extent are they related? This paper will examine the relationship, if there is one, between the rise of social media and the Arab Spring. I will begin by reviewing the different types of social media and what they are primarily used for, with a particular focus on Twitter. I will then turn to the Arab Spring and address some of the media debates on this issue. Next, I will explore the Arab Spring by looking at three case studies: Egypt, Libya, and Syria. These cases were chosen because the countries are relatively large, allowing for more data. They are also relatively distinct in both national makeup and how their uprisings have progressed. I will explore the historical causes of the uprisings and try to determine why they are happening now. I will examine the use of social media in these cases, providing charts that display the progression of Twitter activity that has been focused on each case. Finally, I will conclude with a summary of my findings. This issue is of paramount importance for understanding the effect that social media will have on our global society. If there is a connection between the free-flow of communication and this sudden revolutionary outburst, then social media may be able to impact democratic development and foreign policy as well as stimulate unrest in other parts of the world. While both parts of my research are still relatively young and difficult to find information on, I hope to examine enough material to determine whether further research is warranted. The first question to ask is: What is social media? Social media (also called “computer based social networks�) are communication platforms which allow quick expression across the world wide web. First developed shortly after the advent of the internet, it is only in recent years that they have reached the level of popularity they currently enjoy. The most notable pioneer of today’s generation of social media is

3


Alex Lawhorne

Social Media and the Arab Spring

a website called “Friendster,” which allows users to set up profiles and make connections with one another. The site could not keep up with its own growth and alienated its members by shutting down fake profiles. It was quickly replaced in popularity by a site called “Myspace,” which also allowed users to set up profiles but used music to attract a younger demographic. Myspace eventually drew millions of users, bringing widespread attention to social media for the first time. The company was purchased in 2006 by News Corporation Ltd., which also owns the Fox media conglomerate and the Wall Street Journal (Britannica Online Encyclopedia). One tool Myspace lacked was the ability to broadcast a user’s current activities or thoughts. This was a central element of a site created in 2004 called “Facebook.” This site, which began as a network for students at Harvard and has now reached 500 million global users (Facebook Statistics), allows its members to set up profiles and then send out a “status update” that their friends can see. Members use status updates to broadcast their activities, emotions, and opinions. As a social platform, Facebook has become preeminent, with companies, politicians, and activist groups using Facebook as a primary form of advertising (Britannica Online Encyclopedia). Another important site, “YouTube,” was also founded around this time and allows its users to post and watch videos. YouTube has become a powerful tool of communication because it allows users to see events they would not have been able to before, which often provokes a strong emotional reaction (Britannica Online Encyclopedia). “Twitter,” a latecomer to the social media stage, was founded in 2006. In just five years, it has become a globally important tool for communication, advertising, and activism. Twitter is considered a “microblogging service” because it allows users to broadcast their opinions throughout the site (just like a blog entry) but forces all of these updates to be under 140 characters. These expressions are called “Tweets,” and there are 55 million of them sent out each day (Online Marketing Trends). When a user sends out a tweet, it is received (either at a computer, with a mobile phone app, or through text message) by everyone who follows that user. Two important elements of a tweet are relevant to this paper: retweeting and hashtagging. A retweet takes place when one user chooses to resend something they read, and a hashtag is a way of noting that your tweet involves a particular topic. For instance, tweets which were about the uprising in Egypt often had the hashtags “#egypt” or “#jan25” or both. Tweets often have several hashtags, allowing them to be easily searched and read by topic (Britannica Online Encyclopedia). The large number of people using these websites has had a massive

effect on communication. Because anyone can use them people are more empowered than ever to share their opinions, activities, and favorite brands. Politicians and companies are still trying to adapt to this paradigm shift. Shoe-maker “Converse” has announced they will now be spending 90% of all their advertising money on social media, while Lexus is also shifting more of its resources from television to social media (Advertising Age). Radioshack recently sent out a tweet with the hashtag “#ineedanewphone” in an attempt to draw users to their online sales; their tweet was viewed 65 million times and had an engagement rate of 8.8%. Engagement rates denote how often a tweet is re-tweeted or otherwise interacted with, and the average is around 3-5%. Radioshack’s success has subsequently led them to conclude that social media is the ideal way to communicate with their customers (Advertising Age). These tools are often used more seriously, however, by governments and activists. Some local governments in the U.S. use Twitter to inform their citizens of natural disasters or other events. One county uses Twitter to push information about the availability of its flu clinic (Tucker, p. 6). The platform is used outside of the West as well. The political opposition in Malaysia began using Twitter two years ago to spread their message without filtering by the government. They have seen a significant increase in support and electoral results, foreshadowing Twitter’s use during the current turmoil in the Middle East (Weiss, p. 741). Ever since the revolution in Tunisia in December 2010, the news media have been debating the role of social media in the ongoing revolutions. It is clear that there are numerous users of sites like Facebook and Twitter in the Middle East, but some feel that their effect is outweighed by the underlying factors that have led to the uprisings. Malcolm Gladwell, an influential writer, had an article published in the New Yorker in Fall 2010 which expressed that no social media tools could affect dramatic social change. He believed that social change would only be possible as the result of deeper social development (Gladwell, “Small Change”). His argument came under fire, especially after the Arab Spring took root in early 2011. He responded with another article during the revolution in Egypt, concluding that that revolution would have happened with or without Twitter. He wrote that “High risk social activity requires deep roots and strong ties,” both of which had developed in Egypt over time. An article in the International Political Science Review seems to support his argument, pointing out that recent attempts at economic liberalization have emboldened Arabs to express themselves more openly. The civil society is expanding in the Arab World in a way that is increasing social ties and strengthening populism and Islamism, though often bringing them into conflict (Ibrahim).

4

5


Alex Lawhorne

Social Media and the Arab Spring

Many others in the media have criticized Gladwell’s perspective, however. Kirk Cheyfitz, who owns a social media company, feels that Gladwell ignores the fact that each successive generation seeks to make use of the media tools at its advantage. He points to the fact that television was used successfully by protesters during the Vietnam War to spread their opinions more rapidly. More recently, footage of protests (and indeed footage of the war) had an impact on the American people which some believe led to America’s withdrawal from the war. Cheyfitz feels that although the media might not necessarily cause the protests or uprisings, it would be difficult to say that they were not helpful (Cheyfitz). Therefore, I will begin to look at case studies and see whether or not social media has been helpful in fomenting revolution. Egypt’s revolution came after Hosni Mubarak had been president of the country for 30 years. His reign was characterized by the difficult cultural balance Egypt has struck for the past several decades. Mubarak had always emphasized modernization and downplayed Islamic traditionalism. In effect, he was often pitting modernists and Islamists against each other as a cultural distraction. The struggle was often difficult; Mubarak had to mediate disputes in a way that did not excite one group over the other. While calling for modernization he also called for “traditions, morality, and religious considerations” (Mehrez, p. 3). This hard won balance helped to distract from Mubarak’s corruption for quite a while, but economic woes began to overtake such cultural concerns. As countries around Egypt began achieving great economic success, Egyptians started to question why it was not happening for them (Rodenbeck, p. 42). The economic collapse of 2008 may be considered the final straw; unemployment rose rapidly, particularly among the youth and an overwhelming tide of discontent began to rise against the regime. This wave, which suddenly broke in January 2011, is the true cause of the revolution in Egypt. So while the advent of social media was not a cause for the problems in Egypt, it has had an effect on the events. The first protest in Egypt was orchestrated by a Google executive in Egypt named Wael Ghonim. Ghonim set up a Facebook profile using the pseudonym “El Shaheed” (The martyr) and set up a group online which organized the first protest (Advertising Age). Twitter was also used during the revolution to broadcast messages to other protesters within Egypt as well as to gain attention outside of the state. Statistics show that only around eleven thousand Twitter users identified their location as Egypt, but the actual number is probably a great deal higher due to users favoring anonymity (Mashable). One Twitter user who bravely eschewed anonymity is Gigi Ibrahim, who has become famous by using her Twitter account to send

out messages about the revolution and help to voice her support to of others in Egypt (England, p. 56). Popular hashtags used during the revolution included “#jan25” (the date of the first “Day of Rage”) and “#egypt.” The chart below shows the progression of tweets using the hashtag #egypt from January 20 to March 20.

6

Jan

22

Jan

29

Feb

5

Feb

12

Feb

19

Feb

26

Mar

5

Mar

12

Mar

20

2%

1%

Egypt

[Hours displayed in EDT]

The first large spike came as a result of news coverage of the Day of Rage. The following is a sample tweet from shortly thereafter: “@LaurenBohn So much smoke. Cab driver yelling at us for taking pictures. Widespread fear. #Cairo #Jan25 http://twitpic.com/3tkxcs” It includes a picture of the events. Many of the earliest tweets were entirely in Arabic, suggesting that they were from Twitter users within Egypt. The following tweet was used to inform others of police activity: “ishta_dreams: Shubra broken up by police and 5 arrested heading to join at Tahrir #Jan25” The largest peak came with the resignation of Hosni Mubarak, preceded by a bump from his final speech. The remaining residual Twitter activity suggests that even as international interest has died down, Twitter is still being used by those concerned with the formation of a government there (Trendistic). The problems in Libya have evolved somewhat differently from those in Egypt. Moammar Gaddafi, who has ruled Libya since the 1960s, sought economic liberalization during the 1990s at the behest of his son, Sayf. Libya began to reach out to the West, to the extent that it was even assisting with the war on terror and becoming close to U.S. companies. This liberalization showed some that the government may be weakening. In 1995, the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) was founded to oppose the regime and began its efforts with the taking of a prison in Benghazi. A subsequent war broke out in the east of the country, with LIFG unable to gain enough support to overtake the

7


Alex Lawhorne

Social Media and the Arab Spring

regime. It is worth noting that despite similar circumstances, this uprising did not achieve the success of the current one (Anderson, p. 45). When the current unrest did take place in Libya in the wake of revolutions in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt, social media became instrumental in gaining support from the West. Libyans who knew how to use networking technology set up a Media Center in Benghazi and began broadcasting online. Mohammed Nabous, who made videos about the war for the network, was subsequently killed by sniper fire in a video which was released online (Hosea, BBC). Videos such as this have done much to engender support for the Libyan rebels (Romani, KPBS). Twitter has also been used to spread the rebels’ message; a chart of tweets with the hashtag #libya is shown below.

an increase in social freedoms (Melhem, p. 7). An uprising began in Daraa with minor protests. The government has attempted to minimize the protests by announcing reforms, but the unrest has spread throughout the country. Now it is apparent that Assad’s regime is trying to hold on to power by force. Very little information is coming out of Syria via any source of media, and there has been little Twitter activity by protesters. It is clear, however, that the Syrian situation has drawn global attention and concern. The following is a chart displaying tweets with the hashtag #syria:

Feb

19

Feb

26

Mar

5

Mar

12

Mar

Mar

20

27

Apr

3

Apr

10

Apr

17

Apr

24

Jan

22

Jan

29

Feb

5

Feb

12

Feb

19

Feb

26

Mar

5

Mar

12

Mar

20

Mar

27

Apr

3

Apr

10

Apr

17

Apr

24

May

1

0.12%

May

1

0.08%

0.9% 0.04% 0.6%

Syria [Hours displayed in EDT] 0.3%

Libya [Hours displayed in EDT]

The first spike is related to the rebels’ swift, early successes. The second comes from the beginning of NATO’s strikes against Moammar Gaddafi’s military. When compared with the chart for #egypt, one can tell that the topic of Libya has remained an active one, although the initial shock of events there has worn off. Sample tweets from Libya include: missstarlightx: I signed the “SEND HELP TO LIBYA!!!” petition! LujaynNasser: Video of #Libya fighter jets strafing peaceful protesters : http://tinyurl.com/5s3w9ov #GaddafiCrimes #Massacre Both of these demonstrate how Twitter has been used to encourage outside intervention, which is perhaps the most important outcome of social media’s use in Libya (Trendistic). The Syrian situation has been arising more slowly than in Egypt and Libya. Syria is a tremendously diverse country, with many different sects of Islam prominent in key areas as well as a substantial Christian community. The Assad regime has sought to offer stability in the face of the sectarian turmoil that has taken place within its neighbors, Lebanon and Iraq (Salloukh, p. 17). But his efforts to liberalize the country economically without liberalizing socially have only engendered opposition; increasing economic freedoms have led the Syrians to demand

8

This chart shows that the unrest in Syria has drawn attention from the beginning, but as the government has increased its use of violence against the protesters, global concern has also increased. Many people are questioning why the U.N. and NATO would put a stop to the massacre in Libya while allowing one to occur in Syria. Sample tweets include: L_eela: RT @ZetonaXX: @BBCWorld Footage from bck of refridgerated lorry being used by Daraa residents 2 store bodies due 2 the seige http://bit.ly/ieDK9a #syria shine401: RT @Monajed: GRAPHIC VIDEO: Old man shot and killed in #Deraa when security forces bombed his house http://t.co/WvJt4Ve #Syria #fb Both of these demonstrate how re-tweets are used to distribute information and how video can offer a strong emotional impression which is highly effective on the viewer. In conclusion, it is not clear that social media on its own has allowed the Arab Spring to take place. It is worth noting, however, that the current uprising in Libya has been far more successful than the one that took place before the advent of social media. Although the underlying cause of the Arab Spring seems to be economic and social difficulty, it is clear that the use of social media has allowed the opposition to vocalize their concerns in a way that was previously impossible. Perhaps

9


Alex Lawhorne

Social Media and the Arab Spring

the most notable use of social media has been the attempt to involve Westerners and show them the horrors faced by protesters. This increased communication has potentially helped to involve the West in Libya and encourage greater concern with Syria among Western governments. I conclude that this effect of social media, as well as its use as a mobilizing force, is fundamentally new and worthy of further study.

Works Cited

10

“How Egyptians Used Twitter During the January Crisis [INFOGRAFIC].” Social Media News and Web Tips â “ Mashable â “ The Social Media Guide. Web. 03 May 2011. <http://mashable.com /2011/02/01/egypt-twitter-infographic/>. Anderson, Lisa. “Rogue Libya’s Long Road.” Middle East Report 241 (2006): 42–47. JSTOR. Web. 3 May 2011. <http://www.jstor. org/stable/25164764>. Cheyfitz, Kirk. “Note to Malcolm Gladwell: (Social) Media Matters.” Weblog post. Huffington Post. 4 Feb. 2011. Web. <http:// www.huffingtonpost.com/kirk-cheyfitz/note-to-malcolm- gladwell-_b_818761.html>. Edmund, Lee. “Why Facebook Will Emerge a Winner in Battle over Privacy.” Advertising Age 2011. Academic Search Complete. Web. 3 May 2011. England, Phil. “A Digital Revolution in Egypt and beyond.” New Internationalist 2011. Academic Search Complete. Web. 3 May 2011. “Facebook (American Company) — Britannica Online Encyclopedia.” Encyclopedia - Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Web. 03 May 2011. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/ topic/1366111/Facebook>. Gladwell, Malcolm. “Does Egypt Need Twitter?” The New Yorker. 2 Feb. 2011. Web. 04 May 2011. <http://www.newyorker.com/ online/blogs/newsdesk/2011/02/does-egypt-need-twitter. html>. Gladwell, Malcolm. “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted.” The New Yorker. 4 Oct. 2010. Web. 3 May 2011. <http://www.newyorker.com/reporting>. Ibrahim, S. E. “The Troubled Triangle: Populism, Islam and Civil Society in the Arab World.” International Political Science Review 19.4 (1998): 373–85. JSTOR. Web. 3 May 2011. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/1601512>. Leana Hosea BBC. “Libya Unrest: Inside Rebels’ Media Centre in Benghazi.” BBC - Homepage. 15 Apr. 2011. Web. 04 May 2011. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world africa-13092838>. Lee, Edmund. “Major Marketers Shift More Dollars toward Social Marketing.” Advertising Age 11 Apr. 2011. Academic Search Complete. Web. 3 May 2011.

11


Alex Lawhorne

Social Media and the Arab Spring

“MARKETERS WORK TO BRIDGE DIGITAL DIVIDE.” Advertising Age 11 Apr. 2011. Academic Search Complete. Web. 3 May 2011. Mehrez, Samia. “Take Them out of the Ball Game: Egypt’s Cultural Players in Crisis.” Middle East Report 219 (2001): 10–15. JSTOR. Web. 3 May 2011. <http://www.jstor.org/ stable/1559249>. Melhem, Heshem. “Syria between Two Transitions.” Middle East Report 203 (1997): 2–7. JSTOR. Web. 3 May 2011. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/3012638>. Rodenbeck, Max. “Egypt: God’s Choice.” Foreign Policy 139 (2003):41–42. JSTOR. Web. 3 May 2011. <http://www.jstor. org/stable/3183734>. Romani, Rebecca. “Libya In 140 Characters | KPBS.org.” KPBS San Diego: Public Radio, TV and Web. 25 Mar. 2011. Web. 03 May 2011. <http://www.kpbs.org/news/2011/mar/25/libya- 140-characters/>. Salloukh, Bassel. “Syria and Lebanon: A Brotherhood Transformed.” Middle East Report 236 (2005): 14–21. JSTOR. Web. 3 May 2011. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/30042457>. “Social Network (computing) :: 21st-century Social Networks — Britannica Online Encyclopedia.” Encyclopedia - Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Web. 04 May 2011. <http://www. britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1335211/social- network/280137/21st-century-social-networks>. “Statistics | Facebook.” Facebook. Web. 04 May 2011. <http://www. facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics>. Tucker, Charlotte. “Social Media, Texting Play New Role in Response to Disasters.” Nation’s Health 2011: 1–18. Academic Search Complete. Web. 3 May 2011. “Tweets with the Hashtag #Egypt.” Trendistic. Web. 03 May 2011. <http://trendistic.com/egypt/_since-2011-01-20-18h-utc/ _until-2011-03-20-17h-utc>. “Tweets with the Hashtag #jan25.” Trendistic. Web. 03 May 2011. <http://trendistic.com/jan25/_since-2011-01-20-17h-utc/ _until-2011-03-21-04h-utc>. “Tweets with the Hastag #libya.” Trendistic. Web. 03 May 2011. <http://trendistic.com/libya/_since-2011-02-15-10h-utc/ _until-2011-05-03-20h-utc>. “Tweets with the Hastag #syria.” Trendistic. Web. 03 May 2011. <http://trendistic.com/syria/_since-2011-01-16-03h-utc/ _until-2011-05-03-20h-utc>.

“Twitter (microblogging Service) — Britannica Online Encyclopedia.” Encyclopedia - Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Web. 03 May 2011. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic /1370976/Twitter>. “Twitter Statistics On Its 5th Anniversary.” Online Marketing Trends. Web. 04 May 2011. <http://www.onlinemarketing- trends.com/2011/03/twitter-statistics-on-its-5th.html>. Weiss, Meredith L. “Edging Toward a New Politics in Malaysia: Civil Society at the Gate?” Asian Survey 49.5 (2009): 741–58. JSTOR. Web. 3 May 2011. <http://www.jstor.org/stable /10.1525/as.2009.49.5.741>. “YouTube (Web Site) — Britannica Online Encyclopedia.” Encyclopedia - Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Web. 04 May 2011. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1262578/ YouTube>.

12

13


Subtext in David’s The Death of Socrates

Subtext in David’s The Death of Socrates by Brendan J. Mullen

J

ean Jacques David’s 1787 masterpiece, The Death of Socrates, is one of the most recognizable paintings in Western culture. It illustrates what is argued to be the watershed moment in classical philosophy—the execution of Socrates. However, the painting is not by any means a mere illustration. It is revered for its formal excellence, as well as for provoking strong emotion in its audience. Beyond the obvious narrative of the painting, there are several unique characteristics that can be analyzed. The subtleties of the painting reveal much about the political and social climate of the time and place of its creation— eighteenth-century France—and also illustrate the philosophical conflict between the rational and irrational. For these reasons, it is appropriate to analyze the painting according to Nochlin’s feminist art theory and Nietzsche’s Apollonian—Dionysian split model. In addition, Satish Padiyar’s study of the piece, “Who Is Socrates? Desire and Subversion in David’s Death of Socrates,” will be referenced extensively in indicating what he sees to be the subtle, subversive elements of the work. It should be noted that both Nochlin’s and Nietzsche’s theories will be applied to Padiyar’s interpretation of the work, which is postmodern and heavily influenced by queer theory. This paper intends to argue that Padiyar’s interpretation of the piece exemplifies the shortcomings of postmodern critical theory. Linda Nochlin is very interested in the subtext of paintings. She believes that the depictions of people and events found in paintings reveal much about the ideology of the era—particularly concerning gender—in which the piece was created. She writes, “It is important to keep in mind that one of the most important functions of ideology is to veil the overt power relations obtaining in society at a particular moment in history by making them appear to be part of the natural, eternal order of things” (72). The difference between Padiyar and Nochlin, other than differing subject matter, is that Nochlin views works of art as tools of coercion where as Padiyar views them as potential tools of subversion. Nochlin is concerned with how a work of art works to maintain the status quo whereas Padiyar is concerned with how the work might disrupt it. Of principle interest to Nochlin’s theory concerning David’s The Death of Socrates is his depiction of Socrates’s wife, Xanthippe. She is shown in the background of the painting—outside of the chamber

14

where her husband is about to commit suicide; she is escorted up a flight of stairs. Her absence from this crucial moment is just as important as the presence of those who are in the chamber; it belies just how unimportant she is to the situation. Her husband, Socrates, is surrounded by his pupils—all of whom are men—and yet his wife is ushered out of the room. Nochlin notes of another work of David’s, Oath of the Horatii, that the painter portrays women in a grave situation as weaker than men. However, this is not quite the case with Socrates. In fact, the male pupils of Socrates are shown to be overcome with grief. In contrast, Xanthippe is showing stoic composure. The fact that David chooses to position her in the background is evident of the fact that he discounts her importance to the narrative; the focal points of the work are Socrates, Plato, Crito, and the other men. This supports the ideology of the era that philosophy is the work of men. In addition, the principle subject of the painting, Socrates, is shown to be exuding ideal masculine features. His exposed upper body reveals a muscular, well-built man. His posture is commanding and erect as he prepares to meet death. No other character in the painting is portrayed in such a manner. Arguably, this depiction of a masculine physical ideal underscores the strength of the subject’s convictions. In this context, there is a direct link between masculinity and greatness. In many of David’s other works, men are portrayed in heroic poses—as in his famous portrait of Napoleon and his paintings depicting scenes from the classics such as Leonidas at Thermopylae and Oath of the Horatii. These portrayals support Nochlin’s claim that art reflects the gender roles dictated by the hierarchy of power at the time—men are expected to be courageous and brave. The Death of Socrates, however, presents a more complex portrayal of masculinity. The majority of Socrates’ pupils are anything but stoic; they are wailing with grief. The overcome men are portrayed very similarly to the cowering women of Oath of the Horatii—even inhabiting the same position within their respective frames. Even Plato—who sits at the foot of the bed on which Socrates rests—has apparently lost consciousness. It is possible that David intended to portray the pupils of Socrates as behaving in a decidedly effeminate manner to accentuate the manly virtues displayed by Socrates. The importance of corporal configuration to the painters of David’s era cannot be underestimated. Contemporary gender ideologies contended that there is a direct link between physical strength and morality. In her article, “Corporality and Communication: The Gestural Revolution of Diderot, David, and The Oath of the Horatii,” Dorothy Johnson writes,

15


Brendan J. Mullen

A number of French authors in the third quarter of the eighteenth century were alarmed by what they considered to be the physical degeneracy and decline of the French populace and … insisted upon strength of posture and musculature as the principle means of restoring and assuring physical and moral fortitude. (109) The depiction of Socrates as exhibiting attributes of physical strength could lead one to believe that David’s views regarding gender roles were in line with the majority of his time. Art critic Satish Padiyar sees the depiction of masculinity in The Death of Socrates in a different light. What Padiyar finds most intriguing is the hidden, homoerotic, and therefore dissident subtext of the painting. It is widely known that homosexuality and pederasty were common in ancient Greece; it is also contended by many that Socrates, Plato, and other members of the Symposium engaged in such activity. David’s era was far more oppressive towards homosexuality. Padiyar notes the extreme persecution of homosexuals contemporary to the painting: ‘[P]ederasts’ were increasingly subject to surveillance in the capital and notoriously visible, notably in the vicinities of the Tuileries and Palais Royal … Most spectacular of all, in 1783 the public execution of a ‘sodomite’ the last of its kind, took place in Paris; and it was an especially brutal and spectacular one: Jacques – Francois Pascal was torn limb from limb and then burned alive as ‘debauche contre nature et assassin’. (37) Given this climate of virulent homophobia, it is understandable why artists of the time would have portrayed homosexuality in a veiled manner—as Padiyar thinks David may be doing unconsciously with The Death of Socrates. The primary instance of homoeroticism Padiyar finds in the painting regards David’s depiction of Socrates’ body. Padiyar thinks that the top portion of the subject’s body is meant to reflect Socrates’s rational, philosophical side; he is depicted as sitting erect while addressing his students, one hand pointing skyward while making a point while the other hand reaches for the hemlock presented to him by the weeping cup bearer whom Padiyar and previous interpreters assume to be an ephebe. It is what Padiyar sees concerning the lower half of the body that he contends illustrates homoeroticism. He writes,

16

Subtext in David’s The Death of Socrates

It is in the lower half of the Socrates’s body that I wish to locate a more subordinate and previously unnoticed type of pederastic desire … With a gesture rather more delicate than that of Crito—and more erotic, I would say – Socrates’s right foot extends unaccountably as if to lightly caress the ephebe’s thinly veiled rounded buttocks. (31) According to Padiyar, this is not accidental or even simply cleverly hidden, but possibly represents an unconscious acknowledgement of the attitude of the time that accorded different values to regions of the body. The upper-half being seen as virtuous and the lower-half carnal, it would stand to reason that Socrates’ top half would be engaged in philosophical pedagogy even at the time of his imminent death while the bottom half was still pursuing very base interest at the very same moment — illustrating a hierarchy of desires (32). Padiyar also sees homoerotic undertones in Crito’s grasp of Socrates’ upper leg. Crito is stationed at the lower-half of the body—the half associated with the carnal. Padiyar writes, “In David’s picture it (Socrates’s leg) is strikingly parallel with, and repeats on a different plane, Crito’s powerful and overworked forearm, which ends with the hand that desperately … suggestively-grips the thigh of Socrates” (31). In fact, Padiyar sees all the mourners as those bemoaning the loss of a man whom they sexually desire (34). If we take the portrayal of Socrates to be—as Satish Padiyar writes— “an obscene, still irrational subject of sexual desire,” it begs to be viewed from Nietzsche’s perspective (32). If Socrates—who is viewed by most to be a paragon of reason—is in fact being shown to be consumed with irrational, carnal desire at this moment of great importance, then it illustrates the conflict between the Apollonian and Dionysian in art. The more traditional interpretation would view the depiction of Socrates to be that of an Apollonian character. He is drinking hemlock just as he was ordered, despite the fact that he knows this to be unjust and those around him obviously wish for him to do otherwise. Socrates does, however, display defiance while carrying out his duty; he continues his oratory up to his last breath. He takes his death like a man—refusing to flee as a coward or lose dignity in futile resistance. This adherence to duty can be seen as representing Apollonian morality. His pupils represent the Dionysian catharsis of mourning as a group. Whereas Socrates is portrayed to be well built and sitting erect while addressing them, they are hunched over and looking down. This interpretation—which views the Apollonian Socrates as stronger

17


Brendan J. Mullen

Subtext in David’s The Death of Socrates

and more virtuous than the wailing Dionysian pupils and posits the former to be superior to the latter—is antithetical to what Nietzsche argues for in The Birth of Tragedy and the Case of Wagner. He values the Dionysian more than the Apollonian—which he associates with Christianity. He writes,

the painting but gives no clear statement on which he believes David was depicting as superior. If we are to believe that David intentionally includes elements of subversive sexuality in the painting, then we can assume that he champions homosexuality and the Dionysian morality but hid it to avoid a public outcry and possible ostracizing. If these elements are placed in the painting unconsciously, however, there is no clear indication of which he favors; the painting then merely reflects the battle between Apollonian reason and Dionysian desire within David’s society and his own psyche. Of course, there is the distinct possibility that Padiyar sees sexual elements that are simply not there. If one were to read Padiyar’s essay without viewing the painting, one might expect it to be similar to the overtly scatological work of Robert Mapplethorpe. At times, his claims of finding evidence of subversive homosexual content seem to be farfetched. Padiyar writes, “Just as Socrates’ foot intimates the penetration of the slave from behind, the cloak of Plato … inexplicably goes astray and, finally, comes to form upon the surface of the bed a distinct phallic protuberance” (35). Certainly, very few people see this even when studying the painting very closely—possibly only Padiyar himself. One of the problems with interpreting art by analyzing the subjects in terms of portrayal of social constructs—i.e. by applying Marxist theory, feminist theory, and the newly emergent queer theory—is that elements which support the theory can be found in a work that were not intended by the artist. To put it simply, theorists such as Padiyar go to absurd lengths to find subversive subtexts. This criticism is not quite relevant to the analysis of Linda Nochlin— although she does view art in relation to feminist theory. Nochlin does not rely on hidden and highly debatable subtext in the same manner as Padiyar. The representations of power relations that Nochlin analyzes are more overt—even if they are not immediately apparent to the casual viewer. She explains,

… I never failed to sense a hostility to life – a furious, vengeful antipathy to life itself: for all of life is based on semblance, art, deception, points of view, and the necessity of perspectives and error. Christianity was from the beginning, life’s nausea and disgust with life, merely concealed behind, masked by, dressed up as, faith in “another” or “better” life. (Nietzsche 67) One could argue that part of the reason Socrates did not hesitate to drink the hemlock was because of his firm belief in the immortality of the soul. In this sense, David’s painting could be interpreted as portraying Socrates as a sort of pre-Christian saint—championing the values that Nietzsche saw to be decadent and immoral. Padiyar’s interpretation can be related to the Apollonian and the Dionysian in a different manner. The figure of Socrates is reflective of the conflict between the two moralities. Padiyar sees the supremely rational Socrates to have an irrational side that is expressed in homosexuality. In his article, Padiyar cites historical documents that indicate that in David’s era Socrates was commonly associated with homosexuality. He writes, “Socratic,” on the other hand, connoted something altogether scandalous; that which was in fact perceived to be the lowest form of debauchery, sexual excess, disorder, and uncontrol. When conjoined to the term amour, Socratique suggested now less an entire theory of the metaphysics of desire … than a sexual relation between men that, on the one hand Christian theologians had valued little more than the bestial and, on the other, Enlightenment philosophers repudiated as endangering the propagation of the species (and thus to this extent irrational). (30) Although Nietzsche did not specifically claim homosexuality to be Dionysian, it was at the time of David considered to be irrational and therefore exhibiting the Dionysian morality. Padiyar sees the conflict between order and disorder represented in

18

Yet what I am really interested in are the operations of power on the level of ideology, operations which manifest themselves in a much more diffuse, more absolute, yet paradoxically more elusive sense, in what might be called the discourses of gender difference. (71) Since she uses representations that are clearly visible in the painting, it is easier to accept her argument concerning their significance than it is to accept Padiyar’s subtext-dependent contention. In reference to The Death of Socrates, I would argue that the portrayal of Xanthippe represents what the artist thought about the importance and

19


Brendan J. Mullen

Subtext in David’s The Death of Socrates

place of women. Likewise, The Death of Socrates displays elements of the Apollonian and Dionysian. Nietzsche himself saw Socrates to be responsible for the Apollonian influence on Western culture, therefore viewing the portrait of his death in terms of Nietzsche’s aesthetic theory is appropriate. As for my interpretation of David’s The Death of Socrates, I find myself ascribing to the more traditional view that the painting celebrates the virtue of Socrates. I see little, if any, elements of homoeroticism. Many of the paintings of the Neoclassical era—particularly David’s—feature shirtless, muscle-bound men in heroic poses. While one could easily interpret these representations as having strong homoerotic overtones, in conjunction with Nochlin’s theory, I think it is more likely that they reflect the artist’s ideology concerning gender roles. I see the painting as capturing Socrates’s defiance, his dedication to reason, and fortitude in carrying out his state-mandated suicide. Moreover, I think that his gestures—in particular his skyward pointing left hand—are meant to emphasize his role as a teacher. It is my belief that he is presented as an Apollonian figure and that the painting champions the Apollonian morality over the Dionysian.

Works Cited David, Jean Jacques. The Death of Socrates. 1787.  École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris. Johnson, Dorothy. “Corporality and Communication: The Gestural Revolution of Diderot, David, and Oath of the Horatii.” The Art Bulletin 71.1 (1989): 92–113. Print. Nietzsche, Friedrich. “The Dionysian.” Trans. Walter Kaufman. Aesthetics. Eds. Feagin, Susan and Patrick Maynard. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997. 66–7. Print. Nochlin, Linda. “Women, Art, and Power.” Aesthetics. Eds. Feagin, Susan and Patrick Maynard. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997. 71–8. Print. Padiyar, Satish. “Who is Socrates? Desire and Subversion in David’s Death of Socrates (1787).” Representations 102.1 (2008): 27– 52. Print.

20

21


Cornplanter and Iroquois Policy

Cornplanter and Iroquois Policy: From Revolution to Canadaigua by Robert Rodriguez

T

he Six Nations of the Iroquois include a tribe called the Seneca. The Iroquois were a confederacy of tribes located mostly in what is now New York. The tribes of the Iroquois include the Seneca, Mohawk, Cayuga, Oneida, Onondaga, and the Tuscarora. The Six Nations all spoke Iroquoian languages, and all but the Tuscarora had been in a league since before European contact. The Tuscarora joined in 1722. Of the Six Nations, the Seneca were the furthest west, predominately in northern Pennsylvania and western New York around Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Several prominent Senecas obtained recognition in the period following the Revolution by defying American encroachment in different ways. Among them were the religious prophet Handsome Lake, the orator Red Jacket, and the war chief known for his pacifism, Cornplanter. Cornplanter was an integral figure in Iroquois American policy. Henry Knox and George Washington mentioned Cornplanter by name when discussing the Indian policy in the Old Northwest.1 He was essential in trying to maintain a peaceful and humanitarian attitude towards the Northwestern tribes during a time of great conflict after the American Revolution. In 1777 Joseph Brant, a Mohawk chief, convinced the other members of the Six Nations excluding the Oneidas and Tuscarora to join the British against the rebelling American force.2 When the Americans defeated the British those Native Americans who joined the wrong side were at an extreme disadvantage, especially when the Treaty of Paris neglected to maintain the right to Indian sovereignty and instead ceded all British territory to the colonies without deference to Indian land claims.3 Afterward, the frontier Indians were in a constant struggle to maintain sovereignty and land rights. Figures like Cornplanter show the diplomatic resistance against encroachment. Cornplanter nurtured a relationship with the new government in 1 Henry Knox “War Department, 26th December, 1791,” American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress Volume IV. Ed. Walter Lowrie and Mathew St. Clair Clarke (Washington DC: Gales and Seaton), 139–140. George Washington “The Reply of the President of the United States to Cornplanter, Half Town, and Great Tree Chiefs and Councilors of the Seneca nation of Indians,” American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress, Volume IV. Ed. Walter Lowrie and Mathew St. Clair Clarke (Washington DC: Gales and Seaton), 142. 2 Anthony C. Wallace, The Death and Rebirth of the Seneca, (New York: Alfred A, Knopf, Inc., 1970), 133. 3 United States of America “Treaty of Paris September 3, 1783” University of Oklahoma College of Law http://www.law.ou.edu/ushistory/paris.shtml (accessed 3/15/2011).

22

Philadelphia. His eagerness to aid in pacifying the frontier Indians and his elocution in front of congress eventually brought peace and stability for Cornplanter’s people. Cornplanter used rhetoric and diplomacy to eventually gain a relatively good deal from the government, which was as good as could be expected when the government was rather adept at usurping Indian lands immediately after the Revolution. After the Treaty of Paris was signed between the United States and England, three other treaties between the United States and the Iroquois eventually solidified the Iroquois’ place in America. First, the Treaty of Fort Stanwix 1784 was a point of contention in later negotiations. Next, was the treaty of Fort Harmer 1789 which reaffirmed the Stanwix treaty by paying the Iroquois for the land which was not done in 1784. Then, after much difficulty among the frontier boundary, came the Treaty of Canandaigua 1794, which codified the land use of the Iroquois and also the Seneca. Cornplanter was a man at the center of most of these negotiations. He advocated for peace while trying to maintain the strength of the Iroquoian peoples. He negotiated with the United States government in good faith during frontier violence according to Secretary of War Henry Knox, who considered Cornplanter someone he could trust to maintain peace in the frontier.4 Cornplanter along with other Seneca leaders gave a series of speeches in Congress directed at President Washington. These speeches advocated for the Seneca and defended the actions of Cornplanter’s people.5 To understand the position of Cornplanter and the Seneca in 1790s, one must first examine the Seneca’s fateful decision to go along with Joseph Brandt’s decision to join the British in their fight against the colonists. At the beginning of the American Revolution, the Iroquois agreed to remain neutral. Cornplanter concurred with this position. Most Iroquois felt that this was a fight between the whites and had little to do with Indians. Brandt, a Mohawk chief, felt otherwise, believing that neutrality was a position that could get them attacked from either side at any moment. He encouraged the chiefs of the other tribes to collectively join the British in the war.6 According to Blacksnake, another Iroquoian chief and nephew of Cornplanter, Cornplanter maintained that he wanted to remain neutral, but when Brandt called the Senecas cowards for their lack of gumption, Cornplanter and others felt obligated to defend Henry Knox “War Department, 26th December, 1791”, American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress, Volume IV. Ed. Walter Lowrie and Mathew St. Clair Clarke (Washington DC: Gales and Seaton), 139–140. 5 Cornplanter “The Speech of the Cornplanter, Half Town, and the Great-Tree, Chiefs and Councilors of the Seneca nation, to the Great Councilor of the Thirteen Fires”, American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress, Volume IV. Ed. Walter Lowrie and Mathew St. Clair Clarke (Washington DC: Gales and Seaton), 140–142. 6 Anthony C. Wallace, 125–135. 4

23


Robert Rodriguez

Cornplanter and Iroquois Policy

their honor and joined Brandt in his war. In 1783, the American Revolution ended with the Treaty of Paris that ceded Indian land to the former colonies. In 1786, Cornplanter and the Seneca argued the unfairness of the Treaty of Paris to George Washington in Philadelphia to no avail.8 In 1790, in another speech to Washington, Cornplanter recollected the decision to join the British differently than Blacksnake’s account. Cornplanter made the claim that it was because of what the colonists told the Iroquois that compelled them to join the Crown against the Americans. The argument unfolds like this. Colonial officials told the Iroquois that they were governed by a single King in England and that his orders were supreme and great. When the colonies began to rebel against the King, the Iroquois, who had been told throughout their diplomatic relationship with the colonists that the King was supreme, made the logical choice to side with the King rather than the colonies. Cornplanter made this case very clear by telling the new constitutional government the decision to go to war against the colonies was based on the information they had been given. The speech was a way of deferring blame and trying to get around the United States’ position on land acquisition. At the time, the United States viewed treaties negotiated with the Indians as reparations of war against the Indians who had backed the British. Cornplanter attempted to gain empathy by suggesting that Americans would have done the same in his position. The Iroquois’ position had to have been one where they chose the wrong side in the war and were suffering the consequences. Cornplanter tried through rhetoric to right that wrong. This does not negate the story of Blacksnake and how the Seneca were drawn into the America Revolution, rather it shows the way Cornplanter used rhetoric to attempt to sway opinion. He could have very well told the United States that he fought against them so as to not lose face by being a coward among his people. But the argument he presented was more compelling if one was trying to curry favor against white aggression and encroachment. 9 After the decision by the Iroquois, the Colonies succeeded in driving the British out, and in the Treaty of Paris received all lands east of the Mississippi regardless of Indian claims to the land.10 The Treaty of Fort Stanwix came out of this framework. The former colonists believed they

already owned the land, and also believed that this treaty was just a way of gaining reparations from the Indians who fought against them. The position of the Americans was clear, get as much land for as little as possible and avoid further military conflict. Though the Americans were boastful after a military success against the super power of the day, they did not have the resources to engage in a long drawn out battle for Native land that they technically had already acquired through the Treaty of Paris. The Treaty of Fort Stanwix, which came out of this as a treaty, will be disputed for the next ten years. 11 The Treaty of Fort Stanwix 1784 is a short treaty. It asks for six Indian prisoners from the Iroquois to be given to the Americans so that they may be tried. It also defines the land boundaries of the Six Nations. No land was taken from the Oneida or Tuscarora.12 The Oneida and Tuscarora who joined the colonists in their fight against the British were spared the reparations demanded of the other four nations including the Seneca. The Iroquois lost all land west of Pennsylvania when they agreed to the Fort Stanwix treaty.13 The Six Nations felt bullied by the Americans and abandoned by the British. The Americans’ position was clear; the cession of land was punishment for siding with the British. There was little negotiation, and the Treaty of Fort McIntosh did the same thing to the Wyandot, Delaware, Ottawa, and the Chippewa.14 The land grab immediately after the Revolution was intense. Britain abandoned the frontier Indians and Americans took advantage of them. The Americans were governed by the Articles of Confederation and not the Constitution at this time, an issue that George Washington pointed out to Cornplanter in a 1791 debate about the fairness of the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, in 1784.15 The Treaty of Fort Harmer 1789 reaffirmed the Treaty of Fort Stanwix 1784, and Cornplanter signed it along with other chiefs of the Six Nations excluding any representation of the Mohawk nation who did not attend the negotiations. General Arthur St. Clair, who presided over the negotiations, gave the Six Nations an assortment of presents and goods for the lands ceded to the United States.16 There is a distinction

7

Wallace, 133. David Andrew Nichols, Red Gentlemen & White Savages: Indian, Federalists, and the Search for Order on the American Frontier, (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press), 129. 9 Cornplanter “The Speech of the Cornplanter, Half Town, and the Great-Tree, Chiefs and Councilors of the Seneca nation, to the Great Councilor of the Thirteen Fires”, American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress, Volume IV. Ed. Walter Lowrie and Mathew St. Clair Clarke (Washington DC: Gales and Seaton), 140–142. 10 United States of America “Treaty of Paris September 3, 1783” University of Oklahoma College of Law http://www.law.ou.edu/ushistory/paris.shtml (accessed 3/15/2011). 7 8

24

Reginald Horsman, “American Indian Policy in the Old North West, 1783–1812” The William and Mary Quarterly Vol 18, no.1(Jan., 1961), 36. 12 United States of America, “Treaty of Fort Stanwix, 1784” Ohio History Central http://www. ohiohistorycentral.org/entry.php?rec449 (accessed 3/10/11). 13 Reginald Horsman, “American Indian Policy in the Old North West, 1783–1812” The William and Mary Quarterly Vol 18, no.1(Jan., 1961), 38. 14 Ibid, 38. 15 George Washington “The Reply of the President of the United States to Cornplanter, Half Town, and Great Tree Chiefs and Councilors of the Seneca nation of Indians”, American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress, Volume IV. Ed. Walter Lowrie and Mathew St. Clair Clarke (Washington DC: Gales and Seaton), 142. 16 United States of America “Treat of Fort Harmer 1789,” Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties Vol. II Ed. Charles J. Kappler LL. M. (Washington DC: Government Printing Office) http//avalon.law.yale. 11

25


Robert Rodriguez

Cornplanter and Iroquois Policy

between these two treaties: one was negotiated between the Six Nations and the states under the Articles of Confederation and the other was between the Six Nations and United States of America under the Constitution. Under the Articles of Confederation the states held power with a weak central government. The Treaty of Fort Harmer, 1789, did little to stop frontier aggression because it did not solve the unfairness perceived by the Indians.17 Instead of solving the unreasonableness of 1784, Fort Harmer ratified it through payment. Cornplanter may have wished he had not allowed his people to sign this treaty. Later, he argued to Washington that the stipulations of Fort Stanwix were too punitive and at a time when the Americans were unduly hostile to the Iroquois, Washington cited that the Treaty of Fort Harmer was a ratification of Stanwix.18 Beginning in the winter of 1790, Cornplanter argued in a series of speeches presented in Philadelphia along with Seneca chiefs, HalfTown and Great-Tree. These speeches presented the Seneca’s position, the supposed sympathy of the new administration, and the beginnings of the Civilization Plan with respect to the Iroquois. The Civilization Plan began with Henry Knox’s proposal to “civilize” Native Americas in order for the government to purchase Indian land peaceably. In 1791 the U.S. considered the Miami an enemy tribe who committed crimes in the frontier.19 The United States believed that the Six Nations had influence with Old Northwest Indians.20 Trouble in the Old Northwest and an American belief in Iroquois influence put the Seneca delegation in a position as arbiters of war and enabled Cornplanter to bring about friendly relations with the new Federal Government. In 1790 Cornplanter argued his grievances and rationales about the Treaty of Paris 1783, the Treaty of Fort Stanwix 1784, and the current illegal land encroachment by frontier settlers. According to Cornplanter, the Fort Stanwix treaty was unfair because of how the new states treated the Six Nations because of their opposition during the American

Revolution. Cornplanter asked for pity with respect to their position during the Revolution. What is interesting is not that Cornplanter argued this position, but that he framed his rhetoric in understandable terms to the opposition. He argued the ideas of fairness, honor, and religion. He invoked the Enlightenment principles that the new government was based upon, and that fueled the ideals of the Civilization Plan. He also argued in a flattering and subservient tone to show his deference to the power and might of the United States.21 The Fort Stanwix treaty of 1784 was especially troubling for Cornplanter. He did not think it fair for the Six Nations to have to cede all that land without monetary compensation. The Americans’ argument that Fort Stanwix confirmed the Treaty of Paris was not acceptable to the Iroquois. Not only was the Fort Stanwix treaty unfairly conducted, according to Cornplanter, but also frontier states aggressively tried to buy the land that had remained in the control of the Six Nations. Commissioners from Pennsylvania requested a purchase of all lands within the state boundaries with the rationale that the Treaty of Paris ceded all the lands in question. The Seneca were confused. They were being told they had land rights, but that the land they supposedly had rights to had been given away by a foreign king. Cornplanter also had a specific grievance with two men, John Livingston and Oliver Phelps.22 The Seneca allowed John Livingston to rent out a portion of their land to white settlers and Livingston told the Seneca that Congress had sent him in order to provide this service. Livingston then sold all of the land north of Pennsylvania and west of New York to Oliver Phelps. Phelps approached the Seneca demanding they relinquish claims to the land. A deal was finally brokered under the threat that if the Seneca did not agree, there would be war. Phelps then paid only a fraction of what was agreed to and explained that the land was not theirs in the first place after the Treaty of Paris and that they should be happy they received anything at all. In 1790, Cornplanter presented this case to George Washington.23 Washington agreed with the case against Livingston saying that, “it appears upon inquiry of the Governor of New York that, John Livingston was not legally authorized to treat with you,” which made Livingston’s deal with the Seneca void. Under the Constitution, treaties can only be

edu/18th_century/six1789.asp#art2 (accessed 3/10/11) 17 Reginald Horsman, Expansion and American Indian Policy 1783–1812, (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1967), 49. 18 Cornplanter “The Speech of the Cornplanter, Half Town, and the Great-Tree, Chiefs and Councilors of the Seneca nation, to the President of the United States”, American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress, Volume IV. Ed. Walter Lowrie and Mathew St. Clair Clarke (Washington DC: Gales and Seaton), 143–144. George Washington “The Reply of the President of ”, American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress, Volume IV. Ed. Walter Lowrie and Mathew St. Clair Clarke (Washington DC: Gales and Seaton), 142–143. 19 George Washington “The Speech of the President of the United States to the Cornplanter, HalfTown, and Big-Tree, chiefs of the Seneca nation of Indians”, American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress, Volume IV. Ed. Walter Lowrie and Mathew St. Clair Clarke (Washington DC: Gales and Seaton), 144. 20 Nichols, 129.

26

Cornplanter “The Speech of the Cornplanter, Half Town, and the Great-Tree, Chiefs and Councilors of the Seneca nation, to the Great Councilor of the Thirteen Fires”, American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress, Volume IV. Ed. Walter Lowrie and Mathew St. Clair Clarke (Washington DC: Gales and Seaton), 140–142. 22 Ibid. 23 Cornplanter “The Speech of the Cornplanter, Half Town, and the Great-Tree, Chiefs and Councilors of the Seneca nation, to the Great Councilor of the Thirteen Fires”, American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress, Volume IV. Ed. Walter Lowrie and Mathew St. Clair Clarke (Washington DC: Gales and Seaton), 141. 21

27


Robert Rodriguez

Cornplanter and Iroquois Policy

made by the executive with ratification by the Senate; any land deal with the Indian tribes outside of that framework was illegal. Washington did not make a decision against Phelps. He proposed that the Seneca should take their claim to the courts and that if adequate evidence of fraud existed, the courts would deal with the matter.24 A larger issue than the specifics of white encroachment becomes apparent. The Seneca cannot trust the white government to abide by its own laws. The Treaty of Fort Stanwix required a prisoner exchange in which the Six Nations agreed to give up Iroquois whom the U.S. government deemed criminals. The Iroquois were told that the accused would be subject to a trial and then sentenced if they were convicted of a crime.25 According to Cornplanter, the Seneca gave up two individuals, who were executed by the Americans without a trial.26 Cornplanter has no reason to believe that American courts would give him a fair trial if he sued Phelps. Even if Phelps defrauded the Seneca out of land under false pretenses and refused to pay what they agreed upon, the American judicial system is not on the side of Native Americans. The Seneca continued to argue over Phelps’ purchase at the negotiations at Canandaigua in 1794. Cornplanter had a more specific grievance in regard to the land cessions in the Treaty of Fort Stanwix. Half-Town, another Seneca chief who had accompanied Cornplanter to Philadelphia, lost all of his peoples’ land. Half-Town lost the land that borders Lake Eerie and Pennsylvania and Cornplanter requested this portion back. Cornplanter referred to it as “this little piece of land.”27 Cornplanter begged for the land and explained how this tiny repossession would not only satisfy Half-Town and his people but the whole of the Six Nations. This may have been an overstatement, the Treaties of Fort Stanwix and Fort Harmer dispossessed many Iroquois and the payments at Fort Harmer were mostly to the chiefs that attended. The idea that such a small victory after a long period of dispossession and fraudulent land deals would bring about much change among the Iroquois seems fatuous. But it was a good

tactic to try to persuade Washington and to cool tensions between the Indians and the United States. The tactic failed.28 George Washington flatly denied a return of land to the Seneca. He claimed that he wished to remain friendly with the Six Nations, but he could not change the treaties negotiated with the United States. Though the treaty of Fort Stanwix 1784 had been made under the Articles of Confederation, the Treaty of Fort Harmer was made under the Constitution and subject to the rule of law. The Treaty of Fort Harmer ratified the boundary lines created at Stanwix and was more than enough evidence to negate the idea that this was an unfair treaty. On top of the fact that the boundary lines were established twice between the Americans and the Six Nations, the Treaty of Fort Harmer paid the Indians for the land. Washington backed off his hard line approach towards the end of his speech and said that Half-Town and his people may remain on their land if they remained peaceful and the U.S. would assign them an agent to administer to their needs.29 Washington and Knox were not being kind to the Seneca just because Cornplanter was presenting a good argument for their grievances. Washington and Knox may have been idealistic and enlightened, but they were also trying to expand the United States boundaries and pacify a dangerous frontier. Washington wanted Cornplanter and company to go to the Miami and persuade them to make peace. According to Washington, the Miami had committed many crimes along the frontier. Washington told Cornplanter that convincing the Miami to stand down in their aggression against whites would “render those mistaken people a great service … [because] the United States are able, and will, most certainly punish them severely for all their robberies and murders.” 30 Though Washington talked boldly about the abilities of the United States, the truth is that he could ill afford continual fighting in the frontier. It would benefit the United States greatly if Cornplanter could simply persuade the Miami to stand down. Another desire of Washington was for civilization. Secretary of War Henry Knox had a new idea to prevent a frontier war with the Indians. The Civilization Plan would expand America into Indian country and accorded with the Enlightenment principles of the Revolution. Knox wanted to persuade the Indians to adopt a more “civilized” life style. In other words, he helped to make the Native American peoples more like Anglo-Americans. Principal among this transition was a change in land

George Washington “The Reply of the President of the United States to Cornplanter, Half Town, and Great Tree Chiefs and Councilors of the Seneca nation of Indians”, American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress, Volume IV. Ed. Walter Lowrie and Mathew St. Clair Clarke (Washington DC: Gales and Seaton), 142. 25 United States of America, “Treaty of Fort Stanwix, 1784” Ohio History Central http://www. ohiohistorycentral.org/entry.php?rec449 (accessed 3/10/11). 26 Cornplanter “The Speech of the Cornplanter, Half Town, and the Great-Tree, Chiefs and Councilors of the Seneca nation, to the Great Councilor of the Thirteen Fires”, American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress, Volume IV. Ed. Walter Lowrie and Mathew St. Clair Clarke (Washington DC: Gales and Seaton), 142. 27 Cornplanter “The Speech of the Cornplanter, Half Town, and the Great-Tree, Chiefs and Councilors of the Seneca nation, to the President of the United States, American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress, Volume IV. Ed. Walter Lowrie and Mathew St. Clair Clarke (Washington DC: Gales and Seaton), 143. 24

28

Ibid, 144–145. George Washington “The Speech of the President of the United States to the Cornplanter, Half Town, and Great Tree Chiefs of the Seneca nation of Indians”, American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress, Volume IV. Ed. Walter Lowrie and Mathew St. Clair Clarke (Washington DC: Gales and Seaton), 144. 30 Ibid, 144. 28 29

29


Robert Rodriguez

Cornplanter and Iroquois Policy

ownership. Without a cohesive Native American system of land ownership, the United States was having a difficult time dealing with land acquisition. If the person one is buying land from does not “own” the land, then the purchases become ambiguous. So if the United States could convince the Native Americans to adopt European ideas of land ownership then purchasing and acquiring land would be easier. At least that was how Knox, Washington, and later Thomas Jefferson thought it would turn out.31 Knox wanted the Seneca to adopt Anglo-American agriculture and lifestyles. The Seneca agreed to send nine boys to be educated among whites so they could learn the American way of life. Cornplanter gladly accepted the promise that the United States would educate the Seneca on how to grow corn “as the white people do.”32 In reply Knox explained that the President would much rather have men go to the Seneca rather than Seneca children come to the United States. The real reason for the civilization process was land acquisition. It was easier to acquire that land if whites were among the Indians, not only teaching them animal husbandry and Anglo-American agriculture, but also helping future land acquisitions. Washington also refused to pay Joseph Nicholson, an Indian interpreter whom Cornplater wanted to aid in negotiations full time. Instead Knox explained that an interpreter would be appointed when necessary. This also cut off fast communication between the Seneca and the United States. If Nicholson was hired by the United States government as a full time interpreter, it would make it easier for Seneca to bring grievances to the government. Washington was limiting Seneca access to the United States while expanding the United States access to the Seneca.33 Cornplanter and the rest of the Seneca delegation left Philadelphia and tried to convince the Miami and Wabash to refrain from going to war with the United States. Cornplanter had successfully maintained the friendship with the United States. If the Seneca were successful in prohibiting further aggression by the Miami and the Wabash, then maybe they could curry further favor and a better relationship with the United States. On March 10, 1791 Cornplanter and Colonel Thomas Procter failed to convince the Miami to back down. Henry Knox de-

scribed the effort by saying that “Cornplanter and Colonel Procter met with difficulties, in the due execution of their orders, which were insurmountable.”34 Knox knew that Cornplanter’s efforts were in vain because Colonel Proctor met with the same resistance. In October 1791, General Arthur St. Claire faced the brunt of this difficulty with a vicious defeat at the hands of hostile Indians. Their failure to pacify the frontier Indians did not disgrace Cornplanter and the Seneca; Knox understood and still looked to Cornplanter as someone who could ease tensions between the United States and hostile Indians in the Old Northwest.35 St. Clair’s defeat meant that the military supremacy of the United States was not absolute. The mood on the frontier then changed. Tensions between the Indians and the United States increased. Cornplanter was getting nowhere in his argument against Oliver Phelps and his perceived theft. Timothy Pickering, an Indian agent assigned to the Six Nations, agreed with Phelps and stated that the money he had given Cornplanter was what they agreed upon.36 Cornplanter claimed Phelps owed them one thousand dollars annually and Phelps argued it was only five hundred. Two witnesses came forward—WH. W. Morris and Eleazer Linley—who claimed that Phelps gave the correct amount and that Cornplanter and the Seneca were happy with their payment at the time of the agreement.37 The issue of the Phelps purchase was settled according to the government, but it was still a point of contention in 1794 when the most successful treaty between the Seneca and the United States occurred. The Treaty of Canandaigua 1794 was a great success, though slightly disappointing for Cornplanter’s people. The years of Cornplanter’s good relationship with the United States and diplomatic forays to Philadelphia were paying off. After addressing the government for over five years, Cornplanter was getting results. He had previously gained monetarily in other agreements with the government, but at Canandaigua he would finally get the land security he desired for his people. The treaty

31 Reginald Horsman, Expansion of American Indian Policy 1783–1812, (East Lansing: University of Michigan Press), 55–58. 32 Cornplanter , “The Speech of the Cornplanter, Half Town, and the Great-Tree, Chiefs and Councilors of the Seneca nation, to the Great Councillor of the Thirteen Fires”, American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress, Volume IV. Ed. Walter Lowrie and Mathew St. Clair Clarke (Washington DC: Gales and Seaton), 144. 33 Henry Knox, “The speech of the Secretary of War to the Cornplanter, Half-Town, and Big-Tree, chiefs of the Seneca nation of Indians”, American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress, Volume IV. Ed. Walter Lowrie and Mathew St. Clair Clarke (Washington DC: Gales and Seaton),145.

30

34 Henry Knox “A summary of facts, relatively to the measures taken, in behalf of the United States, to induce the hostile Indians, northwest of the Ohio, to peace, previously to the exercise of coercion against them; and also a statement of arrangements for the campaign of 1791”, American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress, Volume IV. Ed. Walter Lowrie and Mathew St. Clair Clarke (Washington DC: Gales and Seaton),139. 35 Ibid, 139–140. 36 Timothy Pickering “Philadelphia, Wednesday evening, January 18th 1792”, American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress, Volume IV. Ed. Walter Lowrie and Mathew St. Clair Clarke (Washington DC: Gales and Seaton), 212. 37 Eleazer Lindley “January 18th, 1792”, American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress, Volume IV. Ed. Walter Lowrie and Mathew St. Clair Clarke (Washington DC: Gales and Seaton),214. WH. W Morris “January 18th, 1792”, American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress, Volume IV. Ed. Walter Lowrie and Mathew St. Clair Clarke (Washington DC: Gales and Seaton), 214.

31


Robert Rodriguez

Cornplanter and Iroquois Policy

of Canandaigua permanently guaranteed Cornplanter’s people rights to their land. In exchange, the Six Nations allowed a wagon trail from Schlosser in western New York to Lake Erie, giving the United States access to Niagara. The Seneca had to drop the land claims over the land Phelps had purchased. Canandaigua settled the argument over the Phelps purchase and designated the boundary between Phelps and the Seneca.38 The Treaty of Canandaigua failed to obtain from Phelps the land he had purchased, but the Seneca achieved land security, technical assistance, a repudiation of the interpretation of the Treaty of Paris, and a promise of equal justice. Cornplanter’s good relationship with the United States and the fact that his people never sold the land they were guaranteed has made it possible for his descendants to occupy that land today.39 After choosing the wrong side in the fight against the colonies, abandonment from their British allies, reparations to the new independent states, and years of frontier violence, Cornplanter’s Seneca were able to survive. Though this was not the end of the Native Americans’ long fight against white encroachment, it marks a decisive victory for Cornplanter’s people. Cornplanter’s years of diplomacy and good relations with George Washington and Henry Knox paid off. Though at times he used war to oppose encroachment, he, by far, more often dealt with whites on their own terms. He used rhetoric, diplomacy, and friendship rather than war. Though Canandaigua may not have happened if the United States had been in a better position militarily and economically, Cornplanter would not have gotten the security he received at Canandaigua if he had not maintained a good relationship with the United States. Cornplanter may not have won every battle against fraud, abuse, and encroachment, but his position as an ally of the United States, rather than an enemy, awarded him favor with Knox and Washington and produced security for his people to the present day.

Bibliography

38 United States of America, “Treaty of Canandaigua 1794,” The Crooked Lake Review http:// www.crookedlakereview.com/articles/67_100/80nov1994/80treaty.html (accessed 4/1/11). 39 Wallace, 177–178.

32

Primary Sources

Cornplanter. “The Speech of the Cornplanter, Half Town, and the Great-Tree, Chiefs and Councilors of the Seneca nation, to the Great Councilor of the Thirteen Fires.” Lowrie, Walter and St. Clair Clarke, Mathew, eds., American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress Volume IV. Washington DC: Gales and Seaton, 1832, 140–142. -------- “The Speech of the Cornplanter, Half Town, and the Great-Tree, Chiefs and Councilors of the Seneca nation, to the President of the United States.” Lowrie, Walter and St. Clair Clarke, Mathew, eds., American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress Volume IV. Washington DC: Gales and Seaton, 1832, 143–144. -------- “The Speech of the Cornplanter, Half Town, and the Great-Tree, Seneca Chiefs, to the Great Councilor of the Thirteen Fires.” Lowrie, Walter and St. Clair Clarke, Mathew, eds., American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress Volume IV. Washington DC: Gales and Seaton, 1832, 144. -------- “Message from the Cornplanter, New Arrow, Half-Town, and Big Tree, chiefs of the Seneca nation of Indians, to the President of the United States.” Lowrie, Walter and St. Clair Clarke, Mathew, eds., American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress Volume IV. Washington DC: Gales and Seaton 1832, 145. Eleazer, Lindley. “January 18th, 1792.” Lowrie, Walter and St. Clair Clarke, Mathew, eds., American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress Volume IV. Washington DC: Gales and Seaton 1832, 214. Knox, Henry. “War Department, 26th December 1791.” Lowrie, Walter and St. Clair Clarke, Mathew, eds., American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress Volume IV. Washington DC: Gales and Seaton 1832, 139. -------- “The speech of the Secretary of War to the Cornplanter, HalfTown, and Big-Tree, chiefs of the Seneca nation of Indians.” Lowrie, Walter and St. Clair Clarke, Mathew, eds., American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress Volume IV. Washington DC: Gales and

33


Robert Rodriguez

Seaton 1832, 145. -------- “Message to the Cornplanter, and all chiefs of the Six Nations of Indians.” Lowrie, Walter and St. Clair Clarke, Mathew, eds., American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress Volume IV. Washington DC: Gales and Seaton 1832, 145. -------- “Instructions to Colonel Proctor.” Lowrie, Walter and St. Clair Clarke, Mathew, eds., American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress Volume IV. Washington DC: Gales and Seaton 1832, 145–146. WM. H. Morris. “January 18th, 1792” Lowrie, Walter and St. Clair Clarke, Mathew, eds., American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress Volume IV. Washington DC: Gales and Seaton 1832, 214. Pickering, Timothy. “Newton Point, in the State of New York, July 7th, 1791”. Lowrie, Walter and St. Clair Clarke, Mathew, eds., American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress Volume IV. Washington DC: Gales and Seaton 1832, 212. -------- “Timothy Pickering’s Certificate”. Lowrie, Walter and St. Clair Clarke, Mathew, eds., American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress Volume IV. Washington DC: Gales and Seaton 1832, 212. -------- “Philadelphia, Wednesday Evening January 12th, 1791”. Lowrie, Walter and St. Clair Clarke, Mathew, eds., American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress Volume IV. Washington DC: Gales and Seaton 1832, 212. Washington, George. “Communicated to Congress, January 11, 1792”. Lowrie, Walter and St. Clair Clarke, Mathew, eds., American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress Volume IV. Washington DC: Gales and Seaton 1832, 139. -------- “The Reply of the President of the United States to Cornplanter, Half Town, and Great Tree Chiefs and Councilors of the Seneca nation of Indians” ”. Lowrie, Walter and St. Clair Clarke, Mathew, eds., American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the United States Congress Volume IV. Washington DC: Gales and Seaton 1832, 142–143. --------“The speech of President of the United States to Cornplanter, Half Town, and Great Tree, chiefs of the Seneca nation of Indians.” Lowrie, Walter and St. Clair Clarke, Mathew, eds., American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Execu-

34

Cornplanter and Iroquois Policy

tive, of the United States Congress Volume IV. Washington DC: Gales and Seaton (1832): 144 Secondary Sources

Horsman, Reginald. “American Indian Policy in the Old Northwest 1783–1812”. William and Mary Quarterly Third Series, Vol. 18. No. 1 (Jan., 1961): 35–53. -------- Expansion and American Indian Policy 1783–1812. East Lansing: University of Michigan Press, 1967. Nichols, David Andrew. Red Gentlemen & White Savages: Indians, Federalists and the Search for Order on the American Frontier. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008. Starna, Willam A and Campisis, Jack. “On the Road to Canandaigua: The Treaty of 1794” American Indian Quarteryly, Vol. 19, no. 4 (Autumn, 1995): 467–490. Wallace, Anthony F.C. The Death and Rebirth of the Seneca. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1970

35


Book Reviews

36


Rape and Sexual Power in Early America by Sharon Block Reviewed by Paul Brannon

University of North Carolina Press, 2006. 296 pp. index. append. illus. tbls. notes. $23.00 (paperback) ISBN 9780807857618

S

haron Block’s book looks through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and presents a clear picture of what women faced in their sexual relationships with men. At the time, a call for harsher punishments for rape was slowly gaining momentum in society because many people with strong patriarchal ties slowed the movement. Block looks through personal accounts and court testimonies to show the real treatment of rape victims by men and society at the time. She investigates the notion that women were more responsible than what they claimed, and shows that men, if anything, were more to blame for their infliction of their own will upon one who does not knowingly consent without coercion. Block seeks to overturn common conventions and to clear the muddied water that is the definition of rape in early America. At the time, violence was often coupled with consensual sex, therefore making it harder to determine what crossed the line into rape and battery. Also, Block sketches both common and uncommon examples of rape and provides a myriad of challenges that women faced at that time by societal and familial pressures. Block opens the first chapter with a critical look at what constitutes rape in the eighteenth century (16). She posits that men were given more leeway because they claimed their actions were an “unfortunate result of sexual desire” and plead “passion” had consumed them (16– 17). Also, more blame was put on women for enticing an aggressor and making it harder to prove any wrongdoing (38). Block states that literature at the time tackled the topic as sport, or even as a strategic military exercise, and created confusion over what constituted “voluntary” or “coercive” sexual acts (20–21). The cases of “Humphrey Sullivan” and “Alice Delancey,” and works such as The Coquette and Clarissa show how women, when overtaken, can become socially ostracized and serve as cautionary tales towards women about rakes and men who view sex as a game (22–48). Block’s use of records and accounts, as stated above, are used to show the harsh environment within which

38

39


Rape and Sexual Power in Early America

Paul Brannon

women existed. Her second chapter focuses on rape and coercion and shifts the scope to highlight more personal relationships that victims have with their aggressors (54). Slaves and daughters were key targets for rapists; sadly, the close patriarchal and familial ties often made it hard for women to announce such abuse by those they depend on (54–55). With this, she notes how random and violent attacks happened and men often used the veil of seduction, or courting, to get away with rape. (55–61). In the second part of the chapter, Block delves into sexual relationships involving slaves and their masters, and shows how masters would overtake their slaves and impregnate them (62–65). She notes how no rape charge was ever presented against a white man by an enslaved woman “between at least 1700 and the Civil War,” and this highlights the fact that there was a lack of judicial opinions and precedents upon the matter, and thus shows the nearly insurmountable odds many women had to contend with, not only in the court of the land but also the court of public appeal (64–68). The case of “Harriet Jacobs” highlights the ways in which men could trick enslaved women into performing sexual acts by means of verbal manipulation (68–73). Fathers and husbands were not immune from overtaking a woman and, according to Block, fathers could use their position in the household and clout to persuade daughters and others to comply with sex, such as husbands martially raping their wives (73–78). In the final part of the chapter, Block discusses the increase of rape in ethnic populations in times of war by white oppressors (80–86). In the third chapter, Block outlines the way in which one would be charged for a sexual crime and what might halt justice from prevailing. For women, reporting a rape was not as simple as it is today. Block lists that first, a woman would let it be known to her social circle what happened, and then their family and friends would disseminate the information and essentially put it out for the court of public appeal (88–91). However, because this information could become public, before any formal charges are brought upon a perpetrator, many women would hesitate in reporting crimes such as these in order to save face, and thus, a single offender could harass more victims during the lapse until, or even if, victims would speak up against his crimes (90–95). Many women, according to Block, might often undergo several sexual advances, and because they often feared of what others might think, as well as an attacker’s potential position in society, as compared with the victim, greatly mattered (95–99). Block sketches the support system women relied upon, and shows that single women would confide in other single women about their rape experiences, while married women had to turn to their husbands whom often acted as aggressors.

This would restrict married women from the strong emotional support they could have received through female confidants; conversely, reliance upon other women could act as a double-edged sword for victims. This is because these confidants could testify against young victims, and prove their allegations false easily if they had motive to do so, such as, sticking up for the perpetrator by introducing their own “expertise” about the female body, which many doctors at that time could not refute nor present by themselves because they lacked essential scientific and medical information about women (106–13). Block shows that women’s place in society—along with their race—greatly mattered when the case came to court, and the court of public appeal weighed heavily upon the court’s decision (119–25). The fourth chapter looks at the chronology of sexual charges in the court system and their roots in England. The American courts modeled the prosecution of rapists after the British system, and this included the fact that women had to yell for help to show their lack of consent (126–34). William Hawkins and Sir Matthew Hale differed upon the classification of rape and whether or not it was defined by male ejaculation (128–35). Though the two opposing viewpoints clashed in the eighteenth century, lawmakers moved to assume that penetration was enough to constitute rape, even though it was very difficult to prove, especially when few women who brought the case to court were pregnant (135–42). Only in the nineteenth century was there a bigger push for the conviction and prosecution of rapists because of a greater understanding by the general public (142–45). The rest of the book deals with the legalities of rape in a more legal sense than its position in society or literature at the time. It was indeed difficult for women to prove they were raped, and they indeed felt a greater social pressure in response to their claims. Many women suffered at the hands of men who abused their position, either in society or inter-personal relationships, to dominate and overtake their victims. Sharon Block takes an in-depth look at the times to show women’s plight and the strides our culture and society has taken on the subject. She does a thorough job of researching and supporting new claims about women and their experiences and the social pressure they felt while involved with sexual assaults with primary sources—such as court and other public records.

40

41


Ashley Dailey

The Feminism of Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Sexualities, Histories, Progressivism by Judith A. Allen Reviewed by Ashley Dailey University of Chicago Press, 2009. 488 pp. $35.00 (paperback) ISBN 9780226014630

T

he Feminism of Charlotte Perkins Gilman is an analytical study of “Gilman’s distinctive contributions to early twentieth-century Western feminist theory and politics and of the dialogue between her feminism and Progressive Era reform culture” (1). The focus of this text is to elucidate Gilman’s feminism and explain its influence on the Progressive Era. The text’s author, Judith A. Allen (a professor of gender studies and history at Indiana University), recognizes previous discussions of Gilman’s legacy, acknowledging Carl N. Degler, the original developer of Gilmaniana. Allen also acknowledges current criticisms by historians and third-wave feminists regarding Gilman’s racism, ethnocentrism, and classism. There is also much debate regarding her stance on eugenics. Allen discusses the rise and fall of popularity that Gilmaniana experienced following its decline in the 1930s. Gilman has fallen in and out of relevance over the course of the last eighty years, and the discussions of her today tend to fluctuate vastly. “Gilman’s admirers called her ‘the Dean of American feminists,’ while her detractors named her ‘the high priestess of feminism’” (2). The Feminism of Charlotte Perkins Gilman successfully presents Gilman as neither a “dean” nor a “priestess” but rather an innovator and contributor to modern thought. Allen argues that while many of Gilman’s personal prejudices are less than admirable and frowned upon by society today, her prevailing idea—that sexism is a result of social evolution—was a revolutionary concept that has influenced modern notions of feminism. Chapter one, “Desires, Matings, and Couples,” argues that sexuality was critical in Gilman’s defining of feminism. The chapter discusses Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s personal history, touching on subjects such as her childhood—during which she was subject to a great deal of sex-

42

ism from her family—her marriages, and her home life. Allen gives particular attention to Gilman’s development of sexuality. Allen begins by explaining the frustration Gilman experienced as a child when her brother’s education was encouraged whereas hers was not. Allen also covers Gilman’s first unsuccessful marriage to the artist Charles Stetson and then discusses her second, more successful one to her cousin George Gilman. The text then covers the plight of the women of Gilman’s time period, criticizing some of the greatest misogynistic practices of the day including conjugal rights, which inspired some of Gilman’s most vehement feminist writings. The text describes Gilman’s impoverished upbringing, explaining that her father left upon being told by his wife’s doctors that it was no longer safe for her to bear children. The text explains that a lot of Gilman’s writings and ideas were inspired by Darwin’s. Allen analyses Gilman’s relationships as a young woman, charting how they affected her character, ideas as a feminist, and ultimately her writing. In particular, Allen gives attention to how Gilman treats sexuality. The second chapter, “Longing, Leaving, Loving,” analyses how Gilman’s feminist stance led to the destruction of her marriage and her lack of a relationship with her daughter, who resented her mother’s lack of domesticity. The chapter argues that Gilman’s personal experiences with sexuality greatly influenced her feminist ideas. Allen also discusses Darwin’s influence on Gilman’s theories. The chapter follows her writing of Women and Economics, Noblesse Oblige (a play), and Art Gems for the Home and Fireside. The chapter goes on to describe the interesting love triangle between Gilman, her best friend Grace Channing, and Gilman’s first husband. During the Stetson’s divorce, Channing sought to encourage Gilman and her career, while simultaneously pursuing Stetson. When Gilman’s separation was final, she and her daughter Kate moved to Pasadena. The chapter covers Gilman’s relationship with Adeline Knapp. The two women lived together, and there is some speculation that the two were intimate, but various suitors constantly made their way through the women’s house. The chapter covers Gilman’s courtship with George Gilman and their successful marriage. George was extremely encouraging and supportive of her work. The next chapter, “Gynaecocracy and Androcracy” seeks to illuminate Gilman’s interest in history and biology and their effects on sexism. It argues that both Darwin and history influenced Gilman’s ideas. Gilman used these elements in her search for a biological basis for sexism. She was also influenced by the sociologist Lester Ward who analyzed male selection in natural selection. The chapter explains Gilman’s personal influence on the Progressive Era, and how Ward’s ideas were spread by Gilman. Allen expounds upon Ward’s ideas, ex-

43


The Feminism of Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Ashley Dailey

plaining them fully while also revealing their faults. The latter half of the chapter explains Ward’s great influence on Gilman and her work. This chapter mainly looks at sexism and male dominance from a biological perspective. In the subsequent chapter entitled “Sex Slavery, Home Cooking, and Combat,” Allen explains Gilman’s writings which often dramatize the pains of the female experience. Allen argues that Gilman’s writings “shocked, disturbed, and provoked her audiences to revise conventional assumptions about men and women, the sexual division of labor, and the ‘naturalness’ of sexed institutions” (106). Gilman complains of the sensual depiction of women in society, the domestic expectations, preconceived assumptions about gender, and even the pains of menstruation. Gilman didn’t shy away from the subject of the sex slavery of women, comparing sex slaves to cattle in her writings. The chapter also discusses women who influenced Gilman’s perspective and writings, including Ida Tarbell and Jane Addams. Gilman wrote “The Dress of Women” in 1915, pointing out the significant differences between the way men and women dress. Gilman criticizes aspects of women’s fashion, particularly high-heels and corsets. Gilman also writes about these socially accepted constraints in Women and Economics. The chapter further analyzes Gilman’s maternal instincts and opinions on the matter; she names housework and childcare as impossible for a single person Part two: “As to Feminism” begins with chapter five: “Woman Suffrage, the Antis, and Masculism.” This chapter claims that sexual asymmetry was the foundation for Gilman’s feminism. Furthermore, it describes the many ways Gilman supported the women’s suffrage movement of the early 1900s. Gilman was a consistent writer for Woman’s Journal and the editor of Impress. The chapter mainly focuses on Gilman’s contribution to the feminist movement, discussing her writings, relationships, and lobbying that benefitted the cause. The chapter expounds upon Gilman’s desire to inform women and inspire their opinions. The history of early women’s rights in the United States is explained with relation to Gilman’s influence. The various political factions that grew are elaborated on in the text. Chapter six, “Debating Gilman’s ‘Feminism,’” maintains that Gilman attempted to separate herself from the term “feminist” and failed. Though Gilman refused the title, she ironically inspired many young women to embrace feminism. The chapter explains the origins of the term “feminism” and Gilman’s reluctance to embrace the term. Gilman disliked the term because she saw the distinction as prolonging the problem of sexism. Gilman also disagreed with many of the common traits of feminists and wished to distance herself from the “free

love advocates and urban Bohemians” (166). The strong anti-feminist movement of the time period also demotivated Gilman from associating herself and her writings with the title. The chapter describes popular feminists of the time period and their influences on Gilman. The chapter goes on to examine Ellen Key, Katharine Anthony, and Bessie Beaty’s impact on Gilman and her writing. The text then discusses her critics, which she had many of due to her great success. Chapter seven: “The High Priestess of Feminism” explains that though Charlotte Gilman attempted to separate herself from the phase “feminist,” some of her greatest fans were feminists who regarded her as the foremost scholar of the subject. Chapter seven asserts that Gilman had three audiences: scholarly critics, the media, and the general public. The chapter examines feminism through the lenses of Gilman and various socialists and economists. It follows the movement of feminism during the Progressive Era, comparing Gilman’s opinions to that of other noteworthy activists of the day. The chapter acknowledges the conversation that grew against Gilman’s theory—insisting that biology played a larger part than Gilman conceded. It discusses the positive feedback Gilman received from the public as well as the voices that were raised against Gilman and her views. The chapter charts the rise of her popularity and notoriety. The next chapter, “Toward a ‘Human’ World,” examines Gilman’s approach to humankind as a whole. Chapter eight argues that Gilman’s ultimate solution to sexism was to reform heterosexuality—“its substance, institutions, and consequences” (213). Gilman believed that men and women were alike, their only differences being inconsequential. She asserted that society decided what traits were considered “male” or “female” and overly emphasized the importance of those few traits. The chapter discusses specific short stories, articles, and books that Gilman published, paying particular attention to the themes of each. The text looks at several novels published by Gilman, explaining the situations in which she wrote them. The chapter then gives a brief overview of the popular conception of “women’s work” of the time period. The third and final section of the text is entitled “Embracing Progressivism” and begins with Chapter nine: “Reconfiguring Vice.” The ninth chapter focuses on Gilman’s integration of progressivism into her feminist stance. It presents Gilman’s greatest obstacle—that sexism is culturally ingrained and cannot be solved by simply allowing women to vote. The argument presented is that sexual equality interlocked with other problems like abolitionism, hence why Gilman chose to incorporate such problems into her writings. Allen discusses, in particular, Gilman’s rant against prostitution. Allen describes the typical lifestyle

44

45


The Feminism of Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Ashley Dailey

of a prostitute during the early 1900s. Gilman even says that marriage is a form of prostitution in which a husband supplies his jobless, penniless wife with means, provided she is a good wife and gives into his desires. Allen discusses Gilman’s application of prostitution to her theory of Darwinist feminism. The chapter goes on to describe Gilman’s efforts to raise awareness of venereal diseases. Allen continues to discuss Gilman’s research on prostitution, which sought to expose the clients and the social implications of the act. Gilman attempted to end prostitution through her writings (both fiction and nonfiction) and her social activism. Chapter ten, “A Progressive Era Public Intellectual,” focuses on Gilman’s feminist writings. Allen argues that though Gilman was committed to progressivism, her writings are not typically analyzed through the lens of progressivism. Allen remarks that Gilman relied heavily on the financial support from the public, writing to newspapers and making speeches across the country. Much of Gilman’s responses and criticisms came without solicitation. The text covers specifically her submissions to newspapers and magazines. This chapter begins to discuss the various speeches she gave that centered on married life, the family, and domesticity. It also discusses Gilman’s pride in her own work; she openly compared her own writings and theories to those of other women of the time period, finding her own to be the more accomplished. This chapter takes a look at male responses to her speeches and writings; not surprisingly, men were not as receptive or interested in her theories. It was very important to Gilman that her work be received well, and it was upsetting to her that men nearly always shunned her and her work. This chapter discusses various analogies that were prevalent in Gilman’s literature and speeches. The latter half of Chapter ten focuses on Gilman’s literary work and her struggle to be published. Chapter eleven: “The Later Gilman” analyses Gilman during her later years. The portrayal of elderly Charlotte Gilman is not flattering: “[S]he became racist, ethnocentric, nativist and even antifeminist with age” (Allen 290). This chapter disputes the common accusation that Gilman abandoned feminist work in her later years. It discusses the critical response to Gilman’s nonfiction work, particularly the work written about World War I. This chapter covers Gilman’s frustration at being overshadowed by the excitement of the feminist Jazz Age and her desire for the fame and attention of the 1910s. The chapter covers Gilman’s later writings and how each was received. It specifically covers her publication “A Suggestion on the Negro Problem” and her opinions and views on racism. Chapter twelve: “Gilmaniana Today” discusses Gilman’s current in-

fluence and acceptance. Allen asserts that Gilman still possesses a rather strong following and is often cause for debate. Many recognize Gilman as a visionary for revealing some of the differences between sex and gender. Gilman is criticized, however, for her stance on class structure; she is often called a “failed socialist” (334). She is also condemned for her racism and ethnocentrism. The text indicates that Gilmaniana is currently studied as a historical exploration regarding the feminism of the time period. The conclusion of the text defends Gilman despite her flaws, admiring her particularly for her book Women and Economics. Allen concludes by arguing that, though Gilman sought to equalize the sexes and eradicate “gender markings,” Gilman did not seek androgyny. Gilman sought to eliminate that which oppressed her sex. Judith A. Allen’s The Feminism of Charlotte Perkins Gilman is an informative analysis of an influential feminist figure of the early 1900s. Overall, the text is an interesting read that is thoroughly researched. Allen possesses strong critical content but fails in the area of organization. Allen consistently addresses the critical conversation regarding various subjects and literary works throughout her book. She especially reports the conversation involving Gilman’s Women and Economics, as it was an extremely influential piece not only on the time period, but also on Allen’s text itself. Allen also addresses the critical conversation pertaining to Gilman’s personal life, confronting the issues of Gilman’s racism and classism. Allen’s thoroughness lends credence to her claims and makes her text richer. While I found the content to be substantive, I found the organization to be frustrating. While Allen seems to be attempting to move the text in chronological order, she consistently falls back to past events. For instance, there are multiple paragraphs throughout the text beginning with “Following Gilman’s divorce …” or something similar. Considering Gilman was only divorced once and that occurred relatively early in the text, the placing of the content seems to be questionable. There are multiple instances like the one described above. This lack of organization also results in unnecessary confusion and the tedium of rereading information already conveyed in previous chapters. Allen’s take on the life and works of Charlotte Perkins Gilman is thorough, unbiased, and enlightening. She manages to maintain interest while conveying a lot of information. Aside from a few organizational defects, the analysis is an enjoyable read.

46

47


Meagan C. Ellis

The Oral Character of Southern Literature: Explaining the Distinctiveness of Regional Texts by Clay Morton Reviewed by Meagan C. Ellis

Edwin Mellen Press, 2008. 216 pp. index. bibl. $129.95 ISBN 9780773449442

C

lay Morton begins his work with a quotation from Marshall McLuhan stating that, “The oral tradition of the South in which past and present concert in a babble of chat and memories and observation and complicated kinship relations” (qtd. in Morton 1). His work, The Oral Character of Southern Literature: Explaining the Distinctiveness of Regional Texts, celebrates this oral “concert,” aligning it with the ancient Greek traditions of oration and rhetoric and how this “oral residue”—evidence of an oral-based society—survived in America’s increasingly typographic culture (22). Through analysis of folklore, usage of dialect, and traditional Southern genres, Morton gives a detailed and fulfilling response to the question of what makes Southern works so unique within the fabric of American literature. In his first chapter, “The Oral Character of Southern Culture,” Morton gives a historical view of how beliefs on literacy and education contrasted sharply between the North and South. While the United States enjoyed a predominately literate culture in the nineteenth century, there was a significant discrepancy in literacy percentages in the North’s favor: “According to the U.S. census, in 1850 a mere 1.89 percent of New England’s white population over twenty could not read. But the illiteracy rate for this same group in the South was 8.27 percent (24). The South also felt a disadvantage in access to library materials; while Harvard’s library had 84,200 holdings in 1850, its “Southern counterpart,” the library of South Carolina College, held a meager 18,378 volumes (25). Morton attributes this discrepancy to the North and South’s vastly different attitudes towards collegiate curriculum. Excerpts of Harvard writing prompts indicate a strong push towards composition with a focus on students’ individual thoughts and experiences—reflecting the

48

burgeoning romantic literary movement of the age. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Southern college students engaged in regular “verbal and intellectual combat” as they were taught the importance of recitation, debate, and public discourse (33). Along with differing attitudes towards education, Northerners and Southerners varied in their degrees of enthusiasm in filling President John Adams’ call for “our young America [to be] in Possession of an Heroick Poem, equal to those the most esteemed in any country” (37). Morton notes that by the beginning of the Civil War, the North played host to a bevy of literary giants—including “Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow” (37). In comparison, the South could only offer Edgar Allan Poe—whom Morton regards as of “marginal Southernness”—and William Gilmore Simms (37). Morton attributes this poor showing to the Southern view of literature being best left to those “bereft of cultivated taste,” as opposed to the more refined pleasures of “politics and eloquence” (38). In keeping with these differing views on literature, both regions also held claim to different versions of the American tradition of newspaper humor. Citing Mark Twain, Morton differentiates between the Northern “comic story” and the Southern “humorous story” by their use of structure and “punch line” (42). Where the comic story follows a strict linear pattern, the humorous story aims “to string incongruities and absurdities together in a wandering and sometimes purposeless way”—reflecting the structure used by someone telling a story without forethought or editing (43). In agreement with Twain, Morton states that these attributes suggest the Southern focus on performance as opposed to the Northern focus on text (43). In his second chapter, “Toward a Poetics of Southern Orality,” Morton discusses how specific conventions of Southern literature attest to its oratory heritage. In God’s Trombones, Morton comments on how James Weldon Johnson’s fiery pastor employs “call and response” techniques as well as “hortatory formulas” in order to engage his audience and illicit verbal responses from them. Morton also comments on Weldon’s use of traditional syntactical repetition and parallelism to aid retention of the material (65). Morton also discusses the use of second person narration and distinctive regional dialect in Eudora Welty’s The Ponder Heart. Welty’s authentic use of Southern grammatical idiosyncrasies—such as the “perfective” use of done in “I done told you to do that already” and the use of “a” as a prefix on gerunds as in “a-walking and a-talking”— gives the novel the feel of “informal spoken language:” one of the four styles of language identified by Wallace Chafe in 1982 (75–6). Morton

49


The Oral Character of Southern Literature

Meagan C. Ellis

argues that the work’s strongest oral trait is its employment of first and second-person involvement. The work’s narrator, Edna Earle, will oftentimes refer to herself while describing events, even interrupting the flow of action to tell an anecdote of her personal history: “I was up there in my room, reading some directions. That’s something I find I like to do when I have a few minutes to myself—I don’t know about you” (77). Edna Earle’s vagueness in several instances also adds to the oral character of the work: “Bonnie Dee was one of nine or ten” (qtd. in Morton 78). Finally, Morton comments on The Ponder Heart’s lack of “relation-defining transitions” (81). While a planned out and edited written work would include specific transition words—i.e. then, next, etc-to aid the reader’s understanding of the flow of events, Edna Earle connects events with the simple conjunction “and” as would one telling the story offhand. All of these attributes, as well as several others, give evidence to Morton’s claim of The Ponder Heart’s use of oral tradition. In his third chapter, “Orality and Southern Narrative: Pattern and Structure,” Morton discusses the use and history of traditional narratives in Southern fiction. The first section, “William Gilmore Simms’s ‘Sharp Snaffles,’” follows the age-old “honey-trickster” pattern (97). By definition, this specific trope must include a hero proposing marriage to a woman outside of his social class or race, being rejected by the woman’s father, and a quest by which the protagonist finds honey with the aid of supernatural forces to give him aid against the antagonistic father-in-law (98). As all of these characteristics are seen in “Sharp Snaffles,” Morton also notes on how they are also found in other oral cultures. This same pattern can be found in the biblical legend of “Samson and Delilah”—specifically when he destroys a lion with the power of God and later finds honey where bees have nested in the carcass—and in folk tales originating from the Lamba tribe of Central Africa (99). In his “Structure” section, Morton discusses the specific order in which the events of William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” are told and how these aspects give “Rose” the feel of an oral narrative despite Faulkner’s tight, typographic control. In a bulleted list, Morton gives the story’s “fibula,” or chronological sequence of events, starting with Miss Emily’s suitors being driven off by her tyrannical father and ending with the townsfolk’s discovery of Homer Barron’s corpse (110–11). In another bulleted list, Morton shows that the story’s “syuzhet”—the sequence of events in which they are told-differs radically from the former (113–15). Instead, the tale begins with Miss Emily’s death while the discovery of her father’s dismissal of her suitors arrives closer to the middle of the work before the discovery of Barron’s body at the end. By deviating from traditional chronological sequencing, Morton contends

that Faulkner mimics the scopic methods of Anglo-Saxon oral literature with its focus on communal memory and subjective linking of events. In his fourth and final chapter, “Southern Epistemology and the Psychodynamics of Orality,” Morton discusses how the oral nature of the works of Donald Davidson and Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God achieve higher truths. While Davidson has been painted as a “bitterly disillusioned romantic” in the past, Morton contends that the author is in fact “the figure who most completely embodies the spirit responsible for Southern literature’s unique power: the spirit of orality” (132). He argues that much of Davidson’s poetry stems from resistance towards the Romantic era and the “schism between the artist and society” that it entails (133). With the emergence of abstraction in poetry came the decline of the communal enjoyment and educational value of poetry, making Davidson a pariah of his own era. In Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Morton paints Janie’s immersion into her native oral culture as her ascension into her full spiritual power. Janie begins the work as an outsider from her primarily-oral society due to her lack of “blackness” and sharper literacy skills—earning her the typographic nickname “Alphabet” (156). Her marriages to Logan Killicks and Jody Starks further isolate her from her native oral culture—“He didn’t want her taking after such trashy people”—and make her life miserable (158). Morton contends that Janie’s greatest moments of empowerment occur at three key points in the novel:

50

[F]irst, when she signifies on Jody’s freeing of the mule; second, when she improvises a folktale in which she converses with God on the intellectual inferiority of men; and finally, and most triumphantly, the previously mentioned incident in which she publicly signifies on Jody’s impotence … humiliating him and perhaps even killing him. (158) It is with her oratory powers that Janie is thus able to gain power from her tyrannical husbands and ascend beyond her troubling circumstances. Overall, Morton creates an interesting and informative linguistic analysis of what makes Southern literature so visible from the backdrop of the general American literary canon. Although he addresses a gamut of linguistic concepts, Morton graciously writes his work in a manner which is comprehendible to undergraduate readers—with or without a linguistics background—without driving away higher-level audiences. Arguably, Morton’s one fault is his somewhat extreme specificity to the

51


texts he uses to explain his concepts and arguments. While each section offers excellent insight onto the particular work, Morton does not show how the concept can also connect with other worksâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;giving the impression that the example piece is the only work that exemplifies the particular principle. Even with that in mind, I still happily recommend this book to anyone desiring to gain a new perspective on the beauty and eccentricity of Southern literature.

52


A Regional University of the University System of Georgia & an Equal Opportunity Institution.

www.valdosta.edu


Omnino - Volume 2